Bolinsky To Serve in House Leadership & Help Steer the Ship for Connecticut Seniors

Posted on December 30, 2022


NEWTOWN- State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) was re-appointed an Assistant House Leader by House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora earlier this week at the State Capitol. The Assistant Leader plays an import role in shaping policy and coordinating support for pieces of legislation.

Rep. Bolinsky will also return to the role as head House Republican of the Aging Committee, which has been a long-standing passion since he was first elected in 2012.

“I am honored to have again been called upon by my caucus leadership to be a House Republican Assistant Leader, a roll that allows me to continue working both sides of the aisle in moving important issues forward into legislation.  It’s also my hope that the upcoming 2023-Session, beginning on January 4, 2023, brings us back to a more traditional, collaborative, in-person style of lawmaking. I believe we all work best at the very nuanced art of creating effective, sustainable and fair policy when we are together, side-by-side, coupled with public participation. I’m also very pleased to again serve as Ranking Member of the Aging Committee and look forward to advancing our work on issues of importance for our golden generation. We’ve made great strides over my past eight-years in providing elders’ protection from abuse, neglect, financial scheming, senior nutrition, employment age discrimination, as well as advancing our state’s approach to Alzheimer’s and memory-care.  So much more needs to be done in terms of affordable housing, reasonable tax policy, transportation & mobility solutions and more for our aging population.”

Bolinsky also requested and retained two other, long-time key committee assignments and is poised to begin serving his sixth-term on the General Assembly’s powerful, budget-writing Appropriations Committee and on the Education Committee.  Newtown’s Representative added: “Appropriations is probably the hardest working committee in Hartford but, to me, it’s worth the extra hours and effort to be on the ground-floor of the budgeting process, to be able to understand the ebb & flow of the state’s broader spending priorities and to add a fiscally conservative touch to the ‘needs versus wants equation’ while staying out front when it comes to spotting opportunities to help Newtown, our schools and local causes.  This year, as we craft our biennial (two-year) state budget for fiscal years 2024-2025, we find ourselves in a very interesting and different budget-position for the first time in a generation. We begin this budget with sizable surpluses, not the looming deficits experienced throughout the last couple-dozen budget-cycles.  Face it, Connecticut taxpayers have shouldered quite a load, ultimately being subjected to annual odd-year tax and fee increases, to balance past budgets by a legislative majority that was unwilling to live within its means. From today’s surplus-position, I believe we can accomplish a lot of good in the coming years but, we also must keep our budgets sustainable so we can avoid spending ourselves back into deficits.  I see the upcoming budget as an appropriate time to provide taxpayer relief.  After all, our current surpluses were built on over-collection of taxes.  I’ll explain more when we begin our Community Conversations in mid-to-late January.”

As far as Education, this is a critical time to focus on accelerating support to address our state’s ‘Pandemic Hangover’.  Despite dedicating significant resources in 2022, implementation fell short due to a combination of factors that we must and will address like addressing the alarming the reality of pandemic learning loss, the social-emotional well-being of every child needing extra enrichment or family-engaged mental health supports and a post-pandemic shortage of teachers and clinicians. We can’t do what we did in 2022, when we tried to shoehorn solutions like a huge, complicated, one-size fits all unfunded reading program mandate that was not equally relevant in all districts and hid our heads in the sand during a staff-shortage crisis. We must address statewide ‘achievement-gaps’ by learning from the best practices of high-performing districts, like Newtown’s, to raise performance for all Connecticut schoolchildren.  I’m also encouraged that the Governor seems ready to invest in aggressively addressing teacher and clinician shortages through multi-state, targeted recruitment.  It’s time to get to work!”